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Book review: Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams



Here it is, Mostly Harmless, the final book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy trilogy... as Douglas Adams neatly ties up a huge confusion of space-time anomalies. In the best way it could possibly be done.

Book review: So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish by Douglas Adams



The earth was indisputably demolished forever back in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and Arthur has been a homeless wanderer ever since. Or was the whole thing just mass hallucinations caused by a dead CIA agent in the drinking water? Arthur is back, on earth, six months after it was demolished... and he has a lot of catching up to do.

Book review: The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe by Douglas Adams



Zaphod, Trillian, Ford and Arthur return to participate in some even more unlikely deep-space situations than those that occurred in the first installment of this trilogy in five parts; The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

Book review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams



The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is the first book within Douglas Adam’s classic and well loved “trilogy in five parts” Hitchhiker’s compendium.

Book review: Chart Throb by Ben Elton



If this was about Big Brother, rather than UK Idol, and marginally less sucky, it would be called Dead Famous, the author's previous literary nadir.

Book review: In The Pond by Ha Jin



Some people are entirely happy with their lot in life; with work and a roof over their heads and a decent meal they can be satisfied. Some people live lives of quiet dissatisfaction. And some people have a way to strike back. Such is the political and very entertaining tale of Shao Bin, Harvest Fertilizer Plant worker by day, artist by night, who takes of the corrupt powers that be.

Book review: Dave Barry’s Money Secrets – Like, Why Is There A Giant Eyeball On The Dollar? by Dave Barry



If this was a pizza, it would be the pizza I’m going to make when I get home, using Lebanese bread as a base so you can eat a whole one (pizza) with many toppings and still feel a bit hungry. Pizza. PIZZA!

Book review: Nul Points by Tim Moore



If this was a bottle of wine, it would be a cheap and unprepossessing 2-year-old chardonnay from God-knows-where that grows in splendour right up to the final drop.

Book review: A Load Of Old Ball Crunchers by Jo Brand



If this was a stand-up routine, it would be one of those “themed” ones from a festival which is, sometimes despite itself, funny, and actually stands up better than a lot of the other fluff going around.

Mountain Man Dance Moves – The McSweeney’s Book Of Lists by The Editors of McSweeney’s



If this was the beginning of a Miyazaki movie, it would be a montage of bored office workers, each with cheeky-eyed sprites escaping their wasted minds, flitting out the windows and through the skies of the globe to gather together in space as one enormous totally sweet unicorn with a GSOH.

Book review: Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe



Ah, India. Land of mystery, spices, saris, exotic religions, “travellers” in their late teens looking to find themselves spiritually on their big adventure before university... and of course, the dope’s really cheap.

Book review: A Bit On The Side by Alan Coren



If this was a member of the pre-war idle rich, it would be Bertie Wooster.

Book review: Naked Pictures Of Famous People by Jon Stewart



If this was a sandwich, it would be some delicious overpriced kosher thing from a snazzy New York deli that goes down like a greased oyster but won’t spoil your appetite.

Book review: Starter For Ten by David Nicholls



Ah, to be a young man at university. The challenges, the girls, the fumbling relationships and difficult friendships. I wasn’t ever one myself, but I think that, while I was at university, I may have met a couple of young men very similar to the main character, and I certainly met some of the peripheral characters! And as an added bonus, while I had only ever heard of “University Challenge” on The Young Ones, and seen the spoof with Ben Elton et al, I have now been formally introduced to the phenomena thanks to Starter for Ten. While the book definitely had me reminiscing about Adrian Mole, it was very much its own story and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole excruciating business.

Book review: Killing Yourself To Live by Chuck Klosterman



If this was a stage act, it would be an obviously talented juggler who does nine balls in time with music for twenty minutes, then cocks and elbows over the mic stand and spends two hours talking about why his wife left him in a self-deprecating manner.

Book review: Homegrown Democrat by Garrison Keillor



If this was a family, they’d play sport on Saturday, go to church on Sunday, all have at least one degree or formal qualification, read recreationally, and have a number of surprisingly earthy in-jokes, some of which would turn up in junior’s first novel.

Book review: The Official Razzie Movie Guide by John Wilson



Cover

Black background, dull text, and a blurry black-and-white screen grab of a man in an unconvincing gorilla suit flipping us off. (This admittedly apt image comes from a film called A*P*E, one of the first to be reviewed inside the book.)

Book review: Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman



If this was… I was going to give Klosterman the honour (sic) of comparing him to Motley Crue but I just can’t do it. It would belie the very valid points he makes about the nature of their appeal (Klosterman is NOT cool, and would never pretend to be – indeed his nebbish outsiderness is something he’s proud of). Got it – if this was thirty years old it would be the book Lester Bangs wrote about the music he loved and never got around to publishing because it was a bit too self-obsessed even for him.

Book review: The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken



If this was a TV program, it would be the Daily Show Election Special where they actually say what they feel.

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